Revealed and Healed!

We hope you’ll come to see Old Town House on Thursday, August 3 at 6 PM. That’s when we’re planning to put OTH’s sign back up and open its doors for informal tours and pop up exhibits!

And when you come inside, be sure to take a look at the floor. Here’s the story it tells.

In December, 2021, North Yarmouth Historical moved Old Town House from its “betwixt and between” location* on Memorial Highway to its new site at 475 Walnut Hill Road.

(* Old Town House was built in 1853 “betwixt and between” the two villages of East North Yarmouth and Walnut Hill. Two parts that made up the whole of North Yarmouth—kind of like the two parts of Old Town House that came back together in this story!)

Old Town House in December, 2021 in preparation for the big move.

Copp Movers were hired to do the job. They assured us that Old Town House had good bones and would easily survive the move … but … because of power lines and road width, the building would have to be cut in two pieces.

We certainly worried about this new development—especially about what the interior of OTH would look like. But then Andy Walsh stepped forward.

Andy is the former owner of Fat Andy’s Hardwood, a North Yarmouth business specializing in quality hardwood for fine furniture makers and custom boat builders. He no longer owns the business, but it’s still located on Walnut Hill Road, not far from Old Town House’s new location.

And Andy is also an OTH neighbor who lives off The Lane. He might have retired from the hardwood business but he’s an extraordinary woodworker who still takes on specialty projects—like Old Town House!

Andy carefully measuring and prepping the new floor seam. Contractor Robbie Jeffry looks on. November, 2021.

When he heard about the project, Andy asked to be the one to cut Old Town House’s floor apart. And in late November 2021, he carefully sawed apart OTH’s floor, creating a new “seam.”

And on December 17, 2021, Old Town House, in two pieces, arrived at its new home.

A drone shot of the new foundation and the two pieces waiting to be moved into place.

It’s nineteen months later. Old Town House has been put back together, set on a new foundation, gotten a new roof, new clapboards, a new back porch, and has had its interior partially redone. But the cut in the floor, of course, has remained.

Last week, Andy stepped forward again, to finish the job he’d started. On a warm summer morning he arrived with tools and a beautiful, long piece of maple wood, and set about finishing the floor’s seam. He carefully evened up his initial cut and inserted the new maple strip.

The new maple strip and the old maple flooring. Once refinished, the entire floor will look as it once did back in the 1940s when OTH was prepared to be used by the town’s 7th and 8th graders. Several classes graduated from the “Town Hall School” back then!

Once the floor is sanded and refinished, it will match the rest of the floor. Almost.

Of course, the seam will still show! And that’s OK. Because fifty or a hundred years from now, when a newcomer steps in to Old Town House’s beautiful meeting room and wonders about the floor, the story will be told about the building’s move and Andy Walsh’s role in sawing it apart … and putting it back together. THANK YOU, ANDY!

Come see the old floor / new seam on Thursday, August 3 at 6 PM. That’s when we’ll put Old Town’s sign back up and open its doors for informal tours and pop up exhibits!